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Leadership Secret Number One: Pure Energy!
The Seven Core Qualities is not a complete and perfect list, but rather designed to show you the common qualities of successful leaders that I’ve worked with over the years. How many of these qualities do your favorite leaders embody? How can you strengthen these qualities within yourself to enhance your ability to lead?
The first quality we’ll look at is PURE ENERGY.
Change, transformation, and results all require enormous energy. Many people fail to achieve what they want simply because the mind is willing but the body is weak. Their mind says, “let’s go get ‘em” and their body says, “I can’t get out of bed.” Whenever you think of someone who has charisma or impact, isn’t it true that they also have a significant amount of psychological, emotional, or physical energy? Of course, there are many different styles of energy. Some are external in their style of communication and intensity, but everyone who is successful somehow brings energy—a physical, emotional and spiritual energy—into their environment. Being able to tap into that energy even when you are exhausted, even when things aren’t going your way, often separates those who achieve and lead at the highest level versus those who fall short.
There are certain fundamental things that people do to increase their energy regardless of how much sleep they’ve had or where their blood sugar is. We’ve all had tough days where in spite of the circumstances something inside snapped us into a state where we took off and made something extraordinary happen.
What was it that shifted? Our energy and our psychology, because they are tied together. Virtually everyone knows someone whose psychology is so poor that they can walk into a room and suck the energy out of the building. And, we also know there are others who do the complete opposite: they bring energy to any environment they live in. People gravitate towards them.
The scary part is when the person in the position of leadership has no energy. We all know what that does to the momentum of an organization. Look, it’s no secret that we’re living in tough economic times. Your ability to find a competitive edge—to tap your capacity and the true capacity of your team—often will be based on your ability to shift your energy and the emotions of those around you. I’m not talking about some naive approach to life where you delude yourself through positive thinking that everything will be just fine. I’m not talking about BS’ing yourself. The type of person I’m talking about is someone who can make the tough decisions and take the necessary action to turn things around in spite of the challenge. In other words, a real leader…someone who can talk about the real issues, get everyone to face the challenges, and have enough energy to find the solutions necessary, even in the most dire of circumstances.
Without energy, nothing moves—nothing changes. But with energy, anything can be expanded or transformed. It is important to remember that there are multiple ways to expand your energy. One is to physically take care of yourself—to train your body so that you have that expanded sense of energy and endurance. But you can also find energy (even when you’re exhausted) by tapping into a vision, a sense of purpose, which brings energy not only to yourself but to your team as well. Often, people feel exhausted not because they’re not in great physical shape or don’t have a vision, but because they have inner conflicts. They are trying to meet two different “masters” that don’t support each other, so their energy becomes divided. Finding and unifying vision and purpose is what has given power to so many great leaders. Steve Jobs was famous, or in some cases “infamous,” for his relentless intensity. It came from his undivided focus to create the greatest products and the greatest company in the world. Similarly, the standard that Steve Wynn holds for himself and for every member of his team creates an energetic momentum that not only affects him personally but everyone he has the privilege to lead.
The important distinction here is you can’t manage what you don’t measure. How would you rate your level of energy on a consistent basis (especially when things are not going your way)? What would you give yourself on a scale from 0 to 10? If the number is not high enough for you to be an effective leader, what could you do to improve it? On a scale of 0 to 10 where would you rate your energy? We’ll touch on some of the simplest and most powerful ways to increase your energy in a future blog and video.
In our next blog post we’ll look at the second core quality of leadership, EMOTIONAL MASTERY.